Books, books, everywhere there’s books! All the MCAT prep books! Overwhelming, isn’t it? Today, we’ll help you identify what books you need to have to study for the MCAT, and what features you need to look for when evaluating a particular book.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
Don’t Just Keep Buying More MCAT Prep Books
Buy-another-book-itis: A disease where you think your score is not going up as much as you want, so you buy another MCAT prep book. Gradually you amass an enormous library of MCAT prep books, as if this translates into a good MCAT score.
What you actually need to do:
Just buy one high-quality set of books from a reputable MCAT prep company. You only need one set, and then you need to use them effectively.
You have a lot of choices for MCAT prep books. How do you decide which company’s books to buy?
Guidelines for Selecting the Best MCAT Prep Books
Only buy MCAT prep books from companies that work with real students.
These companies include all the big national companies, Next Step, The Berkeley Review, Kaplan, Princeton, etc. There’s a certain institutional knowledge that comes from working with real MCAT students, and this translates into much better books. Don’t buy the Barron’s book.
Stick with only one set of MCAT prep books.
Don’t go nuts buying a billion different sets of books. Next Step books are great, but you could pick up a set of books from other companies if you prefer instead. But one set is enough.One set of MCAT prep books is enough.Click To Tweet
Really learn the books you have.
You may be tempted to read through your books very quickly and superficially, then expect to get high scores, and if you don’t, you buy more books. Instead, go back and re-read the books you’ve already got. Read them more thoroughly and more carefully than you’ve ever read a textbook for a class.
Think of your MCAT books as a musical score rather than a textbook. You have to master it. That’s how well you have to know your MCAT books.Think of your MCAT books as a musical score rather than a textbook. You have to master it.Click To Tweet
[Related post: Best MCAT Course (With a Promo Code).]
What to look for when evaluating MCAT prep books:
Look at the practice questions that come with the book (passages, online resources, etc.). In the end, success on the MCAT is all about practice, practice, practice. This is why the Next Step books come with over 1,000 practice questions each—because that’s what students need to succeed on the MCAT: Practice!In the end, success on the MCAT is all about practice, practice, practice.Click To Tweet
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my book about the MCAT, co-written with Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep): The Premed Playbook: Guide to the MCAT.
- Related episode: How Should I Start Preparing for the MCAT?
- Related episode: MCAT Prep on Any Budget (Should I Spend $3,000?).
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” for 10% off Next Step full-length practice tests or “MSHQTOC” for $50 off MCAT tutoring or the Next Step MCAT Course at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!
Don't forget to save using the promo code "MSHQ" at Next Step Test Prep
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